The Photographer's Paradise You Haven't Yet Heard Of
Somewhere, between Messiah College and Gettysburg, PA is a spot - a glorious spot - that will forever be known to us as photographer's nirvana. As most amazing experiences go - it was a day that couldn’t be bought, couldn’t be planned and relied on the sweet serendipity of fate to lead the way.
Keep in mind as you read this, that all of this happened over a 30 minute time span.
It was a beautiful October day - the year, 2014. The air was crisp, the autumnal colors peaking and we were heading back from a fabulous visit with a young friend at Messiah College. I can’t remember exactly what prompted us to take that particular turn - but, i’m pretty sure the conversation probably went something like this:
Me: What a gorgeous day, we should stop to get some photos.
Hubby: some sort of audible grunt that I am just positive means he is in complete agreement
Me: OMG that looks so pretty over there (usually stated as we are passing it)
Hubby: "I’m driving, I can’t see it."
Me: Why didn’t we stop?!?!?
Hubby: "You wanted to stop?"
Me: Yes!!!! That’s why I mentioned it!
Hubby: Huh? You didn’t say you wanted to stop.
Me: Well, can we?
Hubby: at *least* one cuss word as he turns around and indulges me anyway...
I’m pretty certain the conversation went like that because it is one we have on nearly every outing. EVERY. SINGLE. OUTING. (One day I will learn to specifically ask for what I want - and one day he will learn to read my mind, but in the meantime - we can pass some driving time with our antics.) I digress....
We turn down this rural, one lane road which has these abso-friggin-lutely spectacular, pastoral landscapes. Think: Farms, mountains, rolling hills, autumnal colors and light that was freakin' amazing. Half of the sky was dark and moody, as if a storm was about to roll in. The other half was the lowering sun that gave the earth beneath it a phenomenal golden glow. An old, white barn against the dark sky initially caught my eye.
We stop the car to snap a few quick pics. Nice right? Oh, It gets better. Much, better.
Within minutes, thousands upon thousands of blackbirds began swooping down over the corn stalks and back up again in this rhythmic dance that was positively mesmerizing. As they danced for us, they worked their way over this pretty little pond with a handmade dock. We were sufficiently captivated and couldn’t get our hands on our cameras quick enough!
After watching the birds dance for a few minutes, I decided to look around me. The views didn’t disappoint.
A lone tree. A farmhouse filled with character. Sheds. And so on.
I continued to shoot away.
The skies became darker, moodier and time felt more rushed - it would probably pour at any moment. As we began putting away our cameras - the sun decided to break through the clouds - and wow, just - W O W- that light.
I live for light like that.
But just like that, it was gone.
The skies began to do their whole dark + gloomy thing and we decided we would venture down the road a bit further as mother nature decided to let the rains sprinkle.
We arrive here and stop on the side of the road to get a few pics.
Just beyond that, a lone tree stood majestically in the middle of a cornfield.
Another pastoral view to the right of that....
I look to the left and about 5 horses are grazing across the street in front of autumn trees.
as if that alone wasn’t enough…
Off to the right, ahead of us were three horses frolicking about.
The light was changing every few seconds and I was struggling to change my lens and get the shots I wanted. I hear the horses whinny - turn around and see them rearing!
By now, my brain is pretty much just playing the following two words on repeat:
Overwhelmed + overtaken by the sheer beauty of these moments I really struggled to get the shots I wanted. A good problem, but still. Then, IT happens.
A rainbow. Yes. A friggin’ amazing rainbow hovering over the pasture!
At this point, it would have been silly to expect otherwise.
The birds then decided to follow us to this new spot...
Our hands couldn’t keep up with the sheer magnitude of beauty surrounding us. As the rainbow seemed to vanish back into the heavens we packed the cameras away and were about to begin to head back on the road when I noticed this - a faint, but second rainbow. I grabbed the iPhone and snapped a quick pic.
It's been almost two years since that day.
Two years these photos basically sat on my hard drive.
Two years I have kept this story relatively quiet.
It wasn't intentional - it was just this short-lived collection of moments that were unimaginably incredible - to the fullest extent of the word - incredible - no matter what I did with the images or my words - they never lived up to what it is I felt that day.
Heck, they still don't. But I am ok with that.
Bushey School Road in York Springs, PA - was indeed 30 minutes of heaven that day. If you ever wondered why people encourage exploration and aimless wandering or learning how to make the best of a wrong turn - experiences like this, is why. You may miss out on moments and memories that you would otherwise carry with you for a lifetime.
So go on, have your gear ready + take that road less travelled. I, for one, can't wait to hear all about it.
P.S. You can see more of the photos and/or order (really cheap for now) prints at my gallery here.
P.P.S. All photos were taken from the public road as I don't believe in trespassing.
P.P.P.S. I'm always, always SO grateful when you share my posts + photos - thank you!